Stainless steel appliances are a staple in home and commercial kitchens. They are well-made, look great, and match any kitchen décor. You can purchase stainless steel appliances in several different forms including refrigerators, dishwashers, sinks, and faucets.
While stainless steel appliances are both stylish and durable, they are also vulnerable to fingerprints, watermarks, and smudges. Here are some tips on how to keep your stainless steel appliances look their best!
A rule of thumb when maintaining stainless steel is to avoid abrasives. Use a sponge, cloth, or terry-cloth with a stainless-steel or all-purpose cleaner to get off any stains. Do not use steel wool or any cleaners with scrubbing particles, bleach, or ammonia. Abrasives will dull the steel and could cause permanent damage to the appliance.
The best way to avoid scratches altogether is by using a microfiber cloth. The small fibers absorb moisture and are incredibly soft on the appliance. While using a paper towel is tempting, don’t! They’re a little too coarse for stainless steel use.
If you’re doing light, routine cleaning then you can use warm water with the cloth. This could be used to clean the appliances daily since you will most likely be dealing with small amounts to clean.
For more intense stains, use dish soap, glass cleaner, or oil and vinegar. Mild dish soap is appropriate for when you need just a little more power than what warm water on its own gives you. Clean the surface of the appliance without damaging it by adding a few drops of the dish soap and water mixture to the cloth and rubbing it in to create suds.
Glass cleaner works well to get rid of fingerprints. Wipe the area with the marks in a small, circular motion and rinse thoroughly before drying. A homemade option is using olive oil and white vinegar. Put the mixture into a spray bottle and spray on a cloth or the surface. The vinegar will get rid of any grease or grime, and the oil makes the stainless-steel look freshly polished.
Of course, you can always purchase a stainless-steel cleaner. This is a good option to help reduce scratching and remove stains. They usually result in a polished-surface look as well.
If you look closely at stainless steel, you’ll notice a grain indicated by faint lines running in one direction. Pay attention to that direction when you’re cleaning it. Always wipe in the direction of the grain so you don’t diminish the metal’s shine and thoroughly get rid of any build up on the product.
Some stainless steel appliances have a nearly impossible-to-see grain. In this case, note how it feels when you begin cleaning. It should flow very easily when you’re going in the right direction, but if you feel some resistance then you should make an adjustment.
Kendra is a content writer with a BA in literature from Wilkes University. When she’s not reading up on the latest home decorating trends, Kendra is busy designing her future home, library included.